Predictions for Whispers of the Old Gods Standard

Whispers of The Old Gods LogoThe dawn of a new age is upon us – a Hearthstone ladder devoid of Piloted Shredder, Dr. Boom, and Sludge Belcher.  With the introduction of standard into the Hearthstone metagame, we now have a rotating format to hopefully keep the meta fresh.

In a previous post I outlined what I thought would be some of the biggest losses in the new format.  Today, we now have all the new cards available, so I’d like to take a crack at what some of the new cards will rise, and which cards you will learn to hate.

I am writing this ahead of the actual release of the new set, so I haven’t actually seen any of these cards at work.  Not like my predictions are of much use anyway.

3 New Cards That Will Have An Impact on Standard

Cabalist’s Tome

Cabalist's Tome

Tome is not likely to completely rock the meta and forge a new deck, but I see it being a common piece in certain mage builds.  Tempo Mage looks like an obvious choice, despite its higher end of the curve, as its potential gives it a bump.

I also see this card helping out in control Mage builds, perhaps even a Reno Mage deck.  You often do not want to draw two of these, and its best on curve where Belchers and Loethebs will no longer fall.

Pulling from the Mage pool is strong, especially for direct damage, but the RNG factor of the card will hurt its value.  Competing with Ethereal Conjurer doesn’t help its inclusion either.  Despite these negatives, I still see this card integrating itself into certain archetypes.

Flamewreathed Faceless

Flamewrt

Is Midrange Shaman going to finally be a thing?  This card certainly helps that case, especially in tandem with the new overload unlock 2-drop.

Blizzard has tried and tried again to bolster midrange cards for Shaman, given its relativity weak constructed playability.  Totem synergy didn’t really manifest after TGT, instead we got Aggro Shaman plaguing the ladder.

Sadly, I think this card fits much better into the aggro variant than midrange ideas.  While a four drop is higher on the curve in an aggressive deck, it synergies with Trogg, and can be followed up with unlock cards, or even an easy follow up of Lava Burst.  With Doomhammer surviving the nerfhammer, Aggro Shaman will only add tools such as this.

Xaril, Poisoned Mind

Xaril, the Poisoned Mind

Rogue is another class that has fallen by the wayside.  With Blade Flurry’s demise to a nerf, people are left scratching their heads at exactly what Rogue will do.  Well, Miracle or Combo Rogue can certainly be a thing, and this card really helps there.

While slightly overcosted at 4 mana for a legendary, the potential toxins, at play and at death, give this card a lot of value and synergy.  You can get the following:

  • 2 damage
  • Draw a card
  • Shadowstep
  • +3 Attack

All of these are nice little boosts, on average much better than spare parts from the likes of Toshley.  Playing and immediatley Shadowstepping Xaril will be a nice play to keep building toxins.

Getting 1 mana effective cards are perfect for Auctioneer, Eviscerates, and SI’s.  Deadly Poison is no longer so crucial to hit combo pieces.  Xaril will provide value outside trading on board.  It’s biggest downside is whether or not Rogue will actually be viable.

Potential Underrated Card of the Set

Ancient Harbinger

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When I first read the card, I thought its effect was a Battlecry, which would be really good.  Nonetheless, I still think this has potential as a redundancy in C’Thun or even Deathwing decks that need to pull their one-of 10 mana cards.

The counterargument is that if most people don’t see Emperor living more than a turn, how will this survive?  The extra health here is not irrelevant, and given its likely place in a control deck, I think it has a shot.

If this triggers, it can be game ending.  Sure, it will require a couple turns to get the mana (outside Druid, which also lacks card digging options), but the opponent will know they are on a short clock.  Will it overrun the ladder? No.  Will it help mold new top heavy decks viability? I think so.

Most Important Nerf on Standard

Force of Nature

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We all knew it was coming, despite not knowing exactly how.  Combo Druid has been ruining many win streaks on ladder for awhile now, and this nerf negates that entire strategy.

No longer will decks need to worry when sitting at 22 against a Druid.  The loss of charge is exactly what was required to kill the unpleasant burst potential of the combo.  Thats not to say this card is completely dead, but it takes on a whole new role.

Along with the nerf to Ancient of Lore, Druid will need to find a new identity in standard.

Most Important Non-Nerf on Standard

Divine Favor

Divine Favor

An incredibly frustrating card, Divine Favor survived the nerfhammer somehow.  The card has drawn ridicule due to its ability to single handily allow aggressive decks to completely negate all card advantage of a control player, rewarding hand dump play.

While aggro Paladin has not been real popular of late, this card still is too swingy to keep around.  Late game, it often allows a player to draw 5 or 6 cards for 3 mana and completely reclaim the board, if not finish an opponent off.

Perhaps Blizzard does not see it wrecking havoc in any viable deck, and left it alone.  I guess we’ll see.

Old Card That Will Be Revived in Standard

Cairne Bloodhoof

cAIRNE bLOODHOOF

Piloted Shredder was the gold standard for solid, all around neutral auto include.  With its versatility, and competition at the 6 mana slot, Cairne suffered.

With the rotation, Cairne’s ability becomes unique once again, leading to strong value trades.  Two successive 4/5’s can now trade better on board, and the 6-slot can allow that it many decks.

Welcome back Cairne old buddy.  At least you don’t drop Doomsayers.

Most Annoying New Deck On Ladder

C’Thun

C'Thun

This card has the Reno effect, where everyone will be fitting it into each class for a dedicated archetype.  However, its deckbuilding restrictions are much less, and its likely to win most games its played.

Sure, it will be exciting experimenting with this initially, but I can forsee Reddit threads complaining over the swarms of C’Thun decks overrunning ladder.  Given many of the support cards, this deck could be very strong.

Most Fun New Deck On Ladder

Yogg-Saron, Hope’s End

Yogg-Saron, Hope's End

Want to maximize your RNG potential?  Yogg decks will certainly become a fan favorite due to the randomness this card provides.  Casino Mage is jealous.

Obviously, given its absurd level of randomness, this will not be a tournament level archetype, but it will certainly lead to a host of YouTube scenarios where a player gets Pyroblast’ed three times to face to lose the game.  Good times.

Conclusion

Given my lack of foresight, perhaps this list is better listed as all the things that will certainly NOT happen in the new meta.  But if I do get one right, then I can claim to be a wizard capable of future predictions.  That’s how this works.

Excitement for the new standard is at an all time high, given the long wait between expansions.  It doesn’t hurt that Blizzard is giving 13 free packs to kick things off either.

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13 thoughts on “Predictions for Whispers of the Old Gods Standard

  1. I had a mage Yogg me. I loved every second. It was hilarious. He shot himself in the face with a few things, hit me, did a few other things, and then it was over.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I certainly do hope Aggro Shaman doesn’t push out the Midrange possibilities, though Midrange seems to have more tools than ever.

    I got Yogg-Saron yesterday and I was honestly surprised that he only helped me win a couple games. I’m guessing it’s a card you never want to play when ahead (I did), but could be something valuable, despite being RNG himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yea I’ve grown really tired of aggro shaman and would like it to find a solid alternative variant. Hunter at least had a viable midrange deck (which looks like it could also make a comeback).
      I haven’t been able to open all my packs yet, but getting a Yogg is nice! I saw Dog play with a Yogg deck and some of it can be underwhelming, especially when ahead. He was playing it in rogue.

      Like

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